A Long Strange – and Earthy – Trip: The Proverbial Resume

From the rich, lush, ancient redwoods and rivers of Northern California, I found myself here in the high and dry sagebrush steppe environment of central Wyoming. From an intellectual radical, to twelve years in law enforcement, to twenty years in watershed restoration manager. And for the last fifteen years I have been steward to all of all the living things at Tara Farm and Nursery…including myself. The hard work, the lessons, the observations, the losses – these are my life. What I have learned – knowledge and experience – I share with clients through the nursery and my landscape designs. When we lose touch with the land, illusion is all we have left.

Laurel L Graham,

Permaculture Landscape Designer / Restoration Design / Nursery Operator

 You could not step twice into the same river, for other waters are ever flowing on to you.

  • Heraclitus

 OldCarBendBefore        OldCarBendAfter

Watershed Restoration and Management

Twenty years of watershed, wetlands and floodplain program management, project planning, environmental permitting, design, installation, restoration, negotiations, advocacy, funding, community organizing. In restoring and preserving the system and function and nature of the riparian we preserve the living.

Pescadero-Butano Watershed Coordinated Resource Management Program:  52,000 acre coastal watershed; anadromous (salmon) habitat; 36 member agencies and over 200 private property owners in a redwood forest riparian environment; 1992 – 1996; Program Coordinator

Pilarcitos Creek Restoration Project:  $1.2 million restoration project after toxic leakage from BFI landfill site;  funded with fine monies and grants from State Water Resources Control Board; Program Coordinator, 1994 – 1996

Montana Watersheds: Ruby, Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers: Program Planner for USDA / NRCS, 1996 – 1998

Wyoming Watershed: North Platte River: Pioneer Water District; Manager, 2001 – 2004

Wyoming Watershed: North Platte river: Casper-Alcova Irrigation District (Kendrick Project / USDOI / BOR); Project Planning and Permitting; Grant Proposals and Grants Management, and business procedure updates and management; Business Manager, 2001 – 2004

In dwelling, live close to the land. – Lao Tsu                                                                        

The Refuge Permaculture Center at Tara Farm and Nursery 2000 – Present and beyond…        


The opportunity to apply all I observed and experienced in watershed restoration, to build a refuge from abused, abandoned farmland, to create a small homestead and nursery, pasture and hay production, native habitat restoration and food production, since 2000 – Tara Farm and Nursery. The nursery produces native and horticultural fruit shrubs, and plants specifically for hedgerow, windbreak and gardens in this high and dry place. Permaculture principles are implemented for soil improvement, pasture improvement, water collection and distribution, plant selection and design implementation and installation. Ethical, practical and creative elements are woven together.

“In organic architecture the ground itself predetermines all features; the climate modifies them; available means limits them; function shapes them”. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright, “Broadacre City”, 1935

Landscape Design & Evaluation

“Creating a Refuge in the Wind” is the theme for landscape services. Designs take into consideration not only conventional and permaculture approaches, but more importantly the human element and their interaction with the landscape. I also provide thorough landscape and resource evaluation for large rural properties to smaller in-town residential properties.


Workshops&Presentations            CrkMntnCertWrkshop                                                            

Courses developed and taught under the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) /Casper College

Permaculture Garden Design – Observations and methods creating a landscape with a purpose.

Oh, The Water: Water Management in the Permaculture Garden

A Rose Is A Rose: Plants for the Permaculture Garden

Dirt to Earth: Permaculture Soil Improvement

Planning the Project – Project management and creative installation and materials use.

Other Environmental Courses, Workshops & Seminars:

 Rural Roads Management Workshop – Workbook and workshop for private property owners addressing erosion control, rural road maintenance, legal responsibilities and liabilities and emergency access.

Permitting for Successful Creek Projects – Workbook and workshop to assist public works, parks, water districts, non-profit organizations and land owners in planning, funding and permitting for creek restoration and maintenance projects.

Creek Maintenance Certification Course for Agriculture – Developed for farmers and ranchers; approved and authorized by California Department of Fish and Game and State Water Resources Control Board; Reviewed in USEPA NonPoint Source NewsNotes, #45.

Numerous speaking engagements and presentations on coastal watershed restoration, community organizing, demonstration projects and project management, including USDA/NRCS conferences, California Coastal Commission hearings, and community groups.


Bachelor’s Degree – Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, San Francisco State University; 1983

Permaculture Design Course – Certificate, Oregon State University, Department of Horticulture; 2013


Permaculture Design Course – Certificate, Cornell University, Cooperative Extension and Department of Horticulture; 2015

Additionally, extensive experience in

* Environmental regulatory permitting * Grant writing and grants management

* Natural hazard and disaster management planning.


P.O. Box 1821 Mills WY 82644



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s